MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A source close to the Mountaineers football program confirmed Monday night that Pitt defensive back Cullen Christian will enroll at West Virginia this summer as a graduate transfer.

WVU becomes the third college stop for Christian, a 2010 four-star recruit out of Penn Hills (Pa.) High School who spent his freshman season at Michigan before returning to his hometown to play for the Panthers.

USA Today Sports

Cullen Christian made 16 tackles at Pitt as a redshirt sophomore in 2012, but a foot injury limited him to two games last season. first reported Christian’s decision to attend West Virginia. A subsequent report from another recruiting website raised the possibility of Christian retaining two years of eligibility on appeal after a foot injury limited him to two games last season. But the source told MetroNews that Christian is likely to have only one season left.

Christian was rated the nation’s No. 8 cornerback by Rivals in 2010 and the 99th-best recruit overall. Though Christian has yet to live up to his prep billing, he could be a useful complement to West Virginia’s secondary, especially with new defensive coordinator Tony Gibson planning to deploy five defensive backs.

The player and coach have been tethered since 2010 when Gibson recruited Christian to Ann Arbor and coached him there for one season. After Michigan fired Rich Rodriguez and his staff, Gibson landed at Pitt in 2011, where Christian promptly followed and sat out that fall as a transfer.

“From the first time I met (Gibson), I knew he was a down to earth guy,” Christian told “He relates to his players, he gets it. The main thing, he puts everybody on the same level. Whether you’re a senior or freshman, the guy who deserves to be on the field is on the field. At Michigan, he never laughed at me. He always kept it real. When I got to Michigan, everything was exactly what he said. Everything was good. I could pretty much trust him. That’s a unique characteristic to have of a coach.”

Though Christian reportedly considered Arizona State and Akron as transfer destinations, he settled on Morgantown after attended West Virginia’s spring game April 12 and meeting the coaching staff.

“Gibby is one of the main reasons I chose West Virginia, and one of the main reasons I came back to Pitt,” he told “I’m happy I get the opportunity to play for him. They play the 3-3-5 defense, with five DBs. I’ll probably play the spur position.”

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Christian continues a string of graduate transfers landing at WVU the past three seasons, following reciever Devon Brown from Wake Forest, running back Charles Sims from Houston and quarterback Clint Trickett of Florida State.

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  • Rich

    Gibby has always been able to recruit, I think that's his calling. I never thought much of the DBs when he was coaching them. I'm not sure what that means as far as his job as our DC, hopefully he delegates well and his assistants will make up for any of his shortcomings. If he does well in that role he will be in line for a raise because his true value for us is in his ability to recruit. There is a lot of talent on this defense and Cullen Christian will help immediately. This is a nice signing for WVU

  • richard

    wow, great pick up for this late in the game. hope he's another ryan mundy.

  • GoEers

    Sounds like a good pickup for the secondary. Chalk another one up for Coach Gibson.


    I never thought I would be saying this but it looks like Tony Gibson was a good hire for Dana & Ollie. I also wasn't sure on his loyalty to the school or the people of West Virginia...

    I have always wondered about Adolf Rupp & Paul Bear Bryant on staying at their schools and making them what they are today instead leaving for better jobs, what characters builders in men those guys must have been...

    Tony, Thanks for coming back and making a difference... We need more people like you in this world...
    Let's GOOOOOOOOO!!!Mountaineeeeeeers!!!

    • Joey Eers

      Bear Bryant did leave ahis school for a better job. He went from Texas Tech to Alabama. as far as Aldolf Rupp goes his first name says it all. He was a known racist and a bigot.

      • Nick

        Bear Bryant coached at Texas A&M...Junction Boys!

  • Dave

    Welcome to Morgantown young man. Make a difference.

  • ScrapWVU

    Has anyone else noticed how meteonews WVU football stories all have a negative connotation? No matter the subject...

    • J the C

      And the negative connotation here is...?

  • Ten toes up

    Has there ever been anyone transfer from WVU to Pitt ...

    • Bluberry Bob

      Yes. Wes Turner, he never played a down for Pitt.

      • Jerry Eers'Fan

        Wasn't that West Turner? I think he played the linebacker position.

    • JJ

      we're hoping Huggins does.

    • ScrapWVU

      Dana's turning Pitt into a JC prep school...

      • Frank/Moundsville

        I agree, Scrap, a pathetic indictment of the whole Luck/Holgorson reign.

        • jake_d

          I think Scrap's comment was more a compliment for Holgerson than a slam.

          • aquarius

            it was a compliment which was lost on that poster. it happens quite often on these comments.

    • chad

      Wes Turner did it.

    • Tom

      Only if they wanted to play in front of 30,000 empty seats.

    • Tom

      Only faculty.

  • In da stickes

    Puck Fitt!